Summary

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The same number of senators voted for and against amendments introduced by NSW Senator Jenny McAllister (Labor), which means they failed. The amendments were a joint Labor and Greens initiative that would have inserted a positive duty

What is the purpose of the amendments?

Senator McAllister explained that:

... right now the tool we rely on to get workplaces to become safer is an individual making a complaint. When surveyed, Australian women overwhelmingly say, yes, they have been sexually harassed at work, often in the last 12 months. The numbers are extraordinary. Most of them don't make a complaint ... Women correctly apprehend that their careers, their livelihoods and their reputations are at stake when they are the complainant, and most women choose to remain silent. And the conclusion we should draw from all of those data points is that this is not an effective mechanism to make our workplaces safer ... It's on that basis that Labor has concluded that we do wish to move here amendments to insert a positive duty obligation onto employers, consistent with the recommendation made by Commissioner Jenkins.

... We are aware that we need to make sure that a positive duty does not create an unreasonable burden on employers, so the way our amendment is drafted will ensure that, consistent with recommendation 17, the measures required to fill a positive duty must be reasonable and proportionate, taking into account factors that include the size of the person's business or operations, the nature and circumstances of the business and operations, the person's resources, the person's business and operational priorities, the practicability and cost of the measures, and all other relevant facts and circumstances.

Amendment text

Available on sheet 1369.

Votes Not passed

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (22% turnout) 2 Yes 0 No
Sarah Hanson-Young SA Yes
Rachel Siewert WA Yes
Mehreen Faruqi NSW Absent
Nick McKim Tasmania Absent
Janet Rice Victoria Absent
Jordon Steele-John WA Absent
Lidia Thorpe Victoria Absent
Larissa Waters Queensland Absent
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania Absent
Australian Labor Party (36% turnout) 9 Yes 0 No
Carol Brown Tasmania Yes
Kim Carr Victoria Yes
Kristina Keneally NSW Yes
Jenny McAllister NSW Yes
Deborah O'Neill NSW Yes
Helen Polley Tasmania Yes
Louise Pratt WA Yes
Anne Urquhart Tasmania Yes
Murray Watt Queensland Yes
Tim Ayres NSW Absent
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania Absent
Anthony Chisholm Queensland Absent
Raff Ciccone Victoria Absent
Patrick Dodson WA Absent
Don Farrell SA Absent
Alex Gallacher SA Absent
Katy Gallagher ACT Absent
Nita Green Queensland Absent
Kimberley Kitching Victoria Absent
Malarndirri McCarthy NT Absent
Tony Sheldon NSW Absent
Marielle Smith SA Absent
Glenn Sterle WA Absent
Jess Walsh Victoria Absent
Penny Wong SA Absent
Stirling Griff SA Centre Alliance Absent
Sam McMahon NT Country Liberal Party Absent
Sue Lines WA Deputy President Yes
Rex Patrick SA Independent Absent
Jacqui Lambie Tasmania Jacqui Lambie Network Absent
Liberal National Party (50% turnout) 0 Yes 1 No
Matthew Canavan Queensland No
James McGrath Queensland Absent
Liberal Party (34% turnout) 0 Yes 10 No
Michaelia Cash WA No
Richard Colbeck Tasmania No
Hollie Hughes NSW No
Jane Hume Victoria No
Matt O'Sullivan WA No
Marise Payne NSW No
Gerard Rennick Queensland No
Linda Reynolds WA No
Dean Smith WA No
Amanda Stoker Queensland No
Eric Abetz Tasmania Absent
Alex Antic SA Absent
Wendy Askew Tasmania Absent
Simon Birmingham SA Absent
Andrew Bragg NSW Absent
Slade Brockman WA Absent
Claire Chandler Tasmania Absent
Jonathon Duniam Tasmania Absent
David Fawcett SA Absent
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW Absent
Sarah Henderson Victoria Absent
Andrew McLachlan SA Absent
Jim Molan NSW Absent
James Paterson Victoria Absent
Anne Ruston SA Absent
Paul Scarr Queensland Absent
Zed Seselja ACT Absent
Ben Small WA Absent
David Van Victoria Absent
National Party (33% turnout) 0 Yes 1 No
Bridget McKenzie Victoria No
Perin Davey NSW Absent
Susan McDonald Queensland Absent
Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party (0.0% turnout) Absent
Pauline Hanson Queensland Absent
Malcolm Roberts Queensland Absent
Scott Ryan Victoria President Absent
Totals (32% turnout) 12 Yes – 12 No